NATION

2012 poverty rate to show slight decline

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Helped by a slowly improving economy, the ranks of America's poor are expected to decline slightly when new census figures are released.

The Census Bureau on Tuesday is releasing its annual report on U.S. economic well-being for 2012, the third year of the recovery after recession ended in 2009.

Analysts predict the poverty rate will decline by up to half a percentage point from its current level of 15 percent, or 46.2 million people. It could be the first decline since 2006.

The figures also are expected to show little if any improvement in the number of uninsured.

Under the new health care law, the government, starting next year, will offer tax credits for people without access to job-based health insurance to buy coverage through new markets in each state.

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